Kreg Owners' Community

Moving Cabinet above Refrigerator to make room for new Refrigerator

I have an idea and I really need some thoughts from all you expert cabinet/remodel/woodworkers. 

I have attached some pictures.  What I am wanting to do is move the cabinet forward and in front of the soffit(I think that is what they call it) and up against the ceiling.

I was thinking I could use a small french cleat to attach it to the soffit part and then screw it into the ceiling where the cross beams are.  

I have ordered a french door/freezer on the bottom frig and it is taller than what I have now.  I don't want to lose the cabinet and was thinking that moving it forward and up would give me better access to it and make use of it vs just removing it.

Any great ideas that include the least amount of destruction/construction would be most valued.  

Thank you as always!

Stephanie

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Stephanie,

I think you are on the right track with the ceiling mounts, its possible a french cleat would work, but why bother, its not as though you will be taking it down all the time.

You may find the box section is not load bearing or have any substantial mounting points, where as the ceiling certanly is.

Have a look at the cupboard construction too and see if its capable of supporting itself and the loaded weight if its attached by the top only to the ceiling.

How do I determine if the cabinets are capable of supporting itself?  

In securing it to the ceiling and the soffit I was going to use long wood screws.  Unless there is a better suggestion? 

I only thought using the french cleat as an easy way to get it up to the wall and make is easier for me to secure it.  I could use the old frig with some 2x4's under it to hold it in place to.  The new frig has not arrived yet.

Appreciate your input.   

I would doubt that the soffit would hold the cabinet. Do you know what is in the soffit?  If there is nothing there, I would remove the soffit. The cabinet looks large enough to cover most of the damage. 

Stephanie,

Understand the use of the french cleat!

I took another look at your pictures, and the cupboard looks substantial enough.

When you remove it, sit it on the floor and take a good look at its construction if it looks OK, try this simple test, open the doors and stand on the bottom with both feet in each doorway reach down and grasp the top and gently pull up if there is any movement, bowing etc or it feels like its going to break it is not self supporting, otherwise if nothing moves you can use it by fixing to the top.

Screws you will need will be about 40 to 45mm long calculated from the following.

A. the thickness of the cabinet

B. the thickness of the ceiling material and

C. 1.5 times the length to penetrate the beams so assuming the cabinet will be around 20mm thick, if you have plaster ceilings they will be 13 to 16mm depending on how it was constructed and possibly may include cross battens of about 30 mm, (you will have to check the ceiling) for this.

Otherwise the joists will be 90mm plus, again depending on the house design.

The box section is possibly a service duct its a bit hard to determine from photographs.

Cut a small hole say about 100 mm in the front and check what is inside, dont be too concerned about the hole as the cupboard will cover it later.

 I am hoping Jay Boutwell is around as he does this sort of work for a living and can tell exactly from experience

Thanks for the added info.  Funny you mention Jay, I sent him a message hoping to get his attention.  Looks like he has been MIA for a month or so.  I really appreciate your help.  I did use a stud finder and I think the soffet is framed with 2x4's.  I am contemplating some sort of support off the back wall, but again I would like the cleanest and easiest route possible.  I always fear that I get it all installed and it ends up coming crashing down.  Although that would only mean a 1/2 - 1 inch drop onto the top of the frig.  I need xray vision.  :)

Robert Brennan said:

Stephanie,

Understand the use of the french cleat!

I took another look at your pictures, and the cupboard looks substantial enough.

When you remove it, sit it on the floor and take a good look at its construction if it looks OK, try this simple test, open the doors and stand on the bottom with both feet in each doorway reach down and grasp the top and gently pull up if there is any movement, bowing etc or it feels like its going to break it is not self supporting, otherwise if nothing moves you can use it by fixing to the top.

Screws you will need will be about 40 to 45mm long calculated from the following.

A. the thickness of the cabinet

B. the thickness of the ceiling material and

C. 1.5 times the length to penetrate the beams so assuming the cabinet will be around 20mm thick, if you have plaster ceilings they will be 13 to 16mm depending on how it was constructed and possibly may include cross battens of about 30 mm, (you will have to check the ceiling) for this.

Otherwise the joists will be 90mm plus, again depending on the house design.

The box section is possibly a service duct its a bit hard to determine from photographs.

Cut a small hole say about 100 mm in the front and check what is inside, dont be too concerned about the hole as the cupboard will cover it later.

 I am hoping Jay Boutwell is around as he does this sort of work for a living and can tell exactly from experience

Kitchen Soffit frame construction is common using 2x2 (1-1/2 x 1-1/2") stock, nailed 

and covered with 1/2" drywall---

not adequate for supporting a cabinet.

Hi Stephanie,  Always willing to help you. Yes I have been gone for awhile as I pretty much divorced my self from the Kreg Jig Community for reasons that I am sure you know.  However I always glad to help any one whom asks for help.  I have also been absent since I broke my left ankle mid December and had surgery on Dec 23.  I have a big heavy cast with screws and plates in the ankle and orders to stay off it.

As for you cabinet it is a pretty straight forward project.  I looked at the photo of your cabinet and it appears to be made of either 5/8 or 3/4 inch thick panels   Robert gave you some good advise on screw lengths.  I would stay away from any soffit hanging methods and go to the wall studs.  Find the wall framing studs and mark them.  Use a stud finder but some are  never accurate and will lie to you.  A simple way short of punching a sharp pointed awl which is dangerous as sometime electrical wires are hidden behind the sheet rock.  Take a cheap magnet and suspend it on a string and using the sting to hand the magnet move it across the wall slowly.  The magnet will find a nail or dry wall screw for you .  Mark that location and using a 2 foot level lay the level so that it reads "PLum"  make a few tic marks and then move the magnet over these location.  The magnet should attach itself to a screw located some where along the plum line.   This will assure that there is a stud

there.

To make a walling hanging cabinet if it is not already one cut your self a piece of 3/4 inch plywood or other solid wood

.  Cut it 3 inches wide and the length of the cabinet measured at the top and secure it using 1&1/4 inch long screws . Screw it at both side panels and the top .  If there is no back in it screw from the back of the cabinet.  You can now screw the cabinet to the studs through the 3 inch piece that you added and into the studs. If you desire to add more security to the cabinet copy the same as above on the bottom.

Sounds like a good project for you.  Hope you had a great Christmas. Let me know if you need further assistance.

.

I think I need to send you some pictures. I want the cabinet to butt up against the ceiling. Which would secure it to the ceiling. I concerned about how to attach the backside, as it will be away from the wall. That is why I am asking about attaching the upper back of the cabinet to the soffit.

If the soffit is removed what are you going to do with the cabinet when you find that it will be too short for the space>  You are removing what the others are hanging on so that will make this cabinet actually looking like a remodel done by some very amateur craftsman and actually served nothing except more work and a bad looking job



H said:

How do I determine if the cabinets are capable of supporting itself?  

In securing it to the ceiling and the soffit I was going to use long wood screws.  Unless there is a better suggestion? 

I only thought using the french cleat as an easy way to get it up to the wall and make is easier for me to secure it.  I could use the old frig with some 2x4's under it to hold it in place to.  The new frig has not arrived yet.

Appreciate your input.   

Stephanie, Back a few months ago I wrote a long post on hanging cabinets/  It was in response to the hanging of

cabinets where a lady's arm was broken by a falling cabinet.  It would be good to read and you will learn a lot about shobby work

I am leaving the soffit.  It is just one cabinet.  The new frig is going to be taller and deeper.  I wanted to bring the cabinet up to the ceiling and in front of the soffit, centered in the space abover the frig.  That would fit perfectly.   I was planning on enclosing the open end you can see, with a piece of Oak plywood and trim so it doesn't look funny.

I will read it, thankfully this cabinet will be sitting above the frig.  If it falls, it will be less than an inch between the bottom of the cabinet and the top of the frig.  :)

Jay Boutwell said:

Stephanie, Back a few months ago I wrote a long post on hanging cabinets/  It was in response to the hanging of

cabinets where a lady's arm was broken by a falling cabinet.  It would be good to read and you will learn a lot about shobby work

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